April 23, 2007:
Westerners who live in the Persian
Gulf (working for oil companies, governments and so on) have their own
intelligence system, used to predict what the next disaster will be, and
whether it's time to get out of the region. For example, all the talk about the
U.S. invading Iran has generally been ignored by the Western expats in the
Gulf. The reason was simple; the Kuwaitis weren't doing anything. For
centuries, Kuwait was the canary in the coal mine as far as Iran went. Kuwait
has a large Shia minority, and many families that have Iranian branches. These
days, Kuwait is also a major American ally in the region. So all the talk of
America attacking Iran was dismissed as long on the Kuwaitis were going about
their business as usual.
Now the Kuwaitis are doing something, and that is
making the expats, and many of the natives, nervous. Kuwait has publicly
announced government ministries are preparing for the possibility of war
between Iran and the United States. The Kuwaitis are not implying that such a
war is a sure thing, but they are acknowledging that such a conflict is now a
Currently, about 15,000 American troops are stationed
in Kuwait, which serves as a staging area and logistics base for U.S.
operations in Iraq. The war has been a bonanza for the Kuwaiti economy, as many
goods and services for U.S. troops have been bought in Kuwait.